Are you considering owning a hypoallergenic dog? But just don’t know exactly where to start? First, let’s try and understand some basics and hopefully this will help you along your journey.
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
Essentially hypoallergenic means ‘void of allergens.’ “Hypo” means less than normal, which implies that an allergic reaction is less likely to take place. Now, if you will notice, it does not mean that there will be 100% no allergic reaction.
What are Hypoallergenic Dogs and are they a Myth?
In terms of pets, specifically dogs, hypoallergenic is meant to imply that a hypoallergenic dog is less likely to cause a reaction. But it does not guarantee that there will never be a reaction. Everyone is different, including their reactions to certain allergens.
What Makes People Allergic to Dogs?
In terms of allergies, people who suffer allergic reactions from dogs are usually allergic to a protein that is found in the dog’s skin cells, saliva, and/or urine. So, consequently, as a dog grooms themselves, they spread the protein onto their skin and coat. Then, as new skin cells are produced, the old ones are shed and released into the air and environment (this is called dander). Hence, why allergy sufferers are told they are allergic to ‘pet dander’. And as the dog sheds, the protein is introduced more and more into the environment and causes greater exposure to the allergy sufferer.
Hypoallergenic vs Non-hypoallergenic Dogs
Hypoallergenic dogs are usually ones that: have very little to no shedding, less hair or curly coats. Dogs who shed less in their environment expose people who have allergies to the dander that circulates through the air. And dogs with less or tight, curly coats are less allergic because the coats trap the hair and dander and make it less susceptible to being exposed into the environment.
Non-hypoallergenic dogs are breeds that are more likely to cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to pet dander and other allergens. These dogs shed more and produce more allergens in their skin, saliva, and urine.
Who are Hypoallergenic Dogs for?
Hypoallergenic dogs are great for allergy sufferers, as well as those who do not have allergies and just enjoy the certain breed of dog. As stated, there is no one dog that is 100% allergen-free. But, hypoallergenic dogs are a great option for those who suffer from mild pet allergies.
When to Consider Hypoallergenic Dogs?
If you are severely allergic, I would recommend that you do not own a dog; no matter how much you love them. I cannot, in good conscience, tell you to possibly expose your health and life to a serious, possibly life-threatening allergy. But if you have a mild to moderate allergy, and are prepared to take extra precautions in order to keep yourself as allergen-free as possible, then a hypoallergenic dog could be for you.
List of the Most Common Hypoallergenic Dogs
This is not considered an exhaustive list by any means. Here is a list, in alphabetical order, of the most common hypoallergenic dogs:
- Bichon Frise
- Cairn Terrier
- Chinese Crested
- Coton de Tulear
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Italian Greyhound
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Poodle (miniature, standard, and toy)
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Scottish Terrier
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- West Highland White Terrier
- Wirehaired Fox Terrier
*** It is important to note that these dogs may still produce a reaction dependent upon your situation. It is highly recommended that you continue to explore each dog and narrow down which doggos would be the best fit for you and your family. And once you have your search narrowed, then to actually spend time with those breeds of dogs before actually adopting one and committing full ownership. Each dog is different, so it’s crucial to actually spend time with specific ones in order to gauge why allergic reactions you may have before committing to permanently owning one.
If you have enjoyed reading this, and hopefully learned something new, then please continue to check out the rest of the blog. Here you can find detailed information on hypoallergenic breeds, grooming and cleaning products, and so much more!